Avoiding Pivot Foot Lock On Second Base Pick-offs

Regardless if your a left-handed pitcher or a right-handed pitcher, trying to make a pick-off move to second on a poorly maintained mound can be difficult.

A common problem for pitchers who use their stride leg to cross the edge of the rubber - THEN, plant that leg on the backside of the rubber and throw to second, is binding (locking) the pivot foot in the hole in front of the rubber.

This hole does not allow the pivot foot to clear the leading edge of the rubber, hence the pivot stays put … while the rest of the body is whirling around trying to make a throw.

Some pitchers try to compensate for this by turning completely around before throwing, almost like a spin move.

A preferred method is to step back off the rubber with the pivot foot … otherwise called disengaging, then bringing the stride leg towards second base and throwing. In fact, some pitchers prefer this method because it gives them just that extra split second to focus on where their throwing to in addition to lining up the shoulders and arms for a more accurate throw. Also, some pitchers find that avoiding a “balk” called by being off balance and doing something awkward that draws a negative observation by the base umpire, is less likely.

Try this suggestion the next time practicing pick-offs to second and see if your move is smoother and your throws a lot more accurate.

Below is a picture of a mound that necessitates the move suggested above.

Coach B.